New Drugs To Combat Multiple Sclerosis Discovered

New Drugs To Combat Multiple Sclerosis Discovered
New research published this week in Nature has found several drugs could lead to new treatment options for multiple sclerosis (MS), including two drugs that effectively treat MS at the source, in vivo. When administered at the peak of disease, these two drugs showed a striking reversal of disease severity.
 
At the pathological level, MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath, a type of insulation that covers nerves, ultimately disrupting communication between the brain and the body and leading to nerve deterioration. To prevent neural degeneration requires remyelination through new oligodendrocytes, which create the myelin sheath. These two drugs, miconazole and clobetasol, were found to treat the source of the problem by reversing this process, increasing the number of new oligodendrocytes and enhancing remyelination.
 
The researchers discovered the therapeutic compounds for enhancing myelination from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells through screening a library of bioactive small molecules. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells are stem cells found in the central nervous system and the principal source of myelinating oligodendrocytes.
 
Finding this cellular target for pharmacological intervention, the researchers found seven drugs that enhance generation of mature oligodendrocytes and found that miconazole and clobetasol could promote myelination. Miconazole was found to function directly as a remyelinating drug with no effect on the immune system, whereas clobetasol was found to be a potent immunosuppressant, as well as a remyelinating agent.
 
Based on material originally posted by George Washington University.